WNBA champion Wilson, Aces to play exhibition against Puerto Rico at USC


COLUMBIA (AP) - WNBA champion A'ja Wilson is coming back to the South Carolina Gamecocks arena where her statue sits when the Las Vegas Aces play Puerto Rico's national team in an exhibition game on May 11.

Wilson played at South Carolina from 2015-18, helping the team to two Final Fours and the 2017 national championship. She was a three-time All-American and three-time Southeastern Conference player of the year.

The school put up a statue of Wilson outside Colonial Life Arena to commemorate her achievements. Now, Wilson will once more take the floor where she became one of college basketball's best players.

Wilson said in a statement she was thrilled to play again on her college court.

"It's my dream to be able to go back to the place where it all started and showcase what my skills are now," she said. "This means the world to me, and I'm very much looking forward to it."

Wilson grew up not far from campus and was one of the top high school prospects when she chose South Carolina and coach Dawn Staley. The program has continued its achievements, adding another national title in 2022 along with three more Final Four appearances since Wilson graduated in 2018.

The Aces take on Puerto Rico, among the 12 teams who will compete for Olympic gold at this year's Paris Games.